in "明日、姉とデパート_買い物に行きます。" why is へ favoured over で in my workbook? If i ask myself the question "明日は、何をする" Can i answer it with "買い物に行く" and make ”デパート” an incidental location? That was how i justified my choice of "で"

To justify the choice of へ, I tried to reason like this:

If "デパート" is the domain for which "買い物に行く" is true, it would make no sense because there would be no "行く"-ing to be done. "買い物に行く" would only make sense if my domain is outside of "デパート". If my domain cannot be "デパート", I cannot use で to mark it.Am i right?

Is デパート買い物に行きます grammatically correct? If it is grammatically correct, then how is it different from the case where へ is used?

To distinguish them, I tried to reason like this:

I'm interpreting the case where へ is used to mean "I'm going to the store to shop (but it does not mean all the shopping is going to be done there since へ only ever indicates direction)" and the case of に to mean "I'm going to the store to shop (and only the store which i mentioned will the shopping be done)"

Or is it just a simple case of "degree of politeness", and for both cases they mean the same thing just that when へ is used, it's more polite by virtue of referring to the location more indirectly than if に were used?


1 Answer 1

  • デパートへ買い物に行きます
  • デパートに買い物に行きます

are both grammatical with subtle difference in nuance, but using is totally ungrammatical. It is not the level of 'favoring over'. In your example, 買い物に is an adverbial phrase telling the purpose, so the core predicate is 行く 'go'. That requires a destination. You cannot go somewhere while staying at that place. Using means that the whole process of going will happen within that single point, which contradicts with the meaning of going.

As for the difference in the nuance between and , the former emphasizes the process/direction of going whereas the latter just means destination. In both cases, shopping is done entirely at the destination. But the difference is subtle, and you probably do not need to care about it at the level where you are wondering whether is appropriate in this context.

  • How can I interpret the difference in a more tangible way?
    – Flaw
    Jul 24, 2011 at 15:15
  • @Flaw Difference between which two?
    – user458
    Jul 24, 2011 at 15:27
  • between へ and に. I keep reading about "focus on direction" and "focus on location". But what does that actually mean to me?
    – Flaw
    Jul 24, 2011 at 22:10
  • 1
    @Flaw Just as I wrote, don't care about it. It's subtle. If you don't get it, then that's it. Maybe you might get it later, but not now. Rather than caring about it, understanding why cannot be used is much more important.
    – user458
    Jul 24, 2011 at 22:19
  • I can't simply not care about it since i've already gone and asked the question. My analysis of why で cannot be used has been confirmed through your response. Now what i'm curious to find out is the nuance between へ and に. It's one thing to understand it grammatically as "This emphasizes on direction while that emphasizes on destination", and another thing altogether to parse it into natural language.
    – Flaw
    Jul 25, 2011 at 1:04

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